Educational Endowments (Ireland) Commission: annual report, 1891-92, minutes of evidence and appendices

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his lifetime, and left no ambiguity existing about them I shall now acid a copy of the rules and orders framed by the Governors who immediately succeeded him, which rules, under the terms of the Charter, became subsequent law for their guidance and that of their successors. 
These rules are dated 12th July, 1712 (a significant day of the year), and are described as " Rules to prevent youths educated in the Free Schools founded by Erasmus Smith, from turning Papists." 

That prayers be read morning and evening in each ofthe said schools, by the master or usher, out of the liturgy by law established, at which every youth shall be obliged duly to attend. 
That every youth educated in the said schools shall be instructed by the master or usher in Doctor Mann's Catechism, and upon Sundays be publicly exambied in the same in the Church. 
That every person educated in the said schools shall duly attend the jmblic service in the pai'ish church where each school is situated, every Lord's Day, and such other time as the master or usher shall appoint; and upon neglect thereof, after due admonishment, shall be expelled the said schools. 
That every person so educated, when he is sufficiently instructed bi the aforesaid catechism, shaU he brought by the master or usher to the Bishop to be confirmed. 
It is now proposed to depart from this useful rule of law, and the uninterrupted practice of more than two centuries is to be laid aside, in order, I suppose, " to extend the usefulness of Educational Endowments in Ireland." 
The Charter was obtained by the founder during Ms own lifetime, and he lived for many years afterwards and showed no symptom of any change in his loind but quite the contrary. 
It was given to him on his own petition, and it is certainly a violent assertion to make that what is perfectly plain upon the face of the Charter itself was not his intention at all. 

It is not my intention to deal with the detaUs of the Scheme, though there are many to which excep¬ tion may be taken. 
I have endeavoured rather to lay the axe to the root of the tree, and I have only to add in conclusion that the Scheme, as an emanation from this Commission, is devoid of all moral weight, because it has been produced by only three out of five Commissioners, and has only been secured by a tem¬ porary alliance of those whose feelings and interests are hostile to the Church of Ireland, and who, while agreeing in the proposed act of spoliation, cannot agree amongst themselves as to the ultimate division of the spoil. 
Two of tbe Commissioners produce a Scheme based upon a Utopian theory of mixed education which the third entirely repudiates, while the Com¬ missioners are at the same time bringing out another Scheme dealing with a large Endowment left by Leamy, a Protestant, in Limerick, in which they are putting an end to mixed education and a mixed Governing Body, and handing over three-fourths of the Endowment to the Roman Catholics for separate edu¬ cation. 
The above statement as to the division of opinion amongst the Commissioners, is substantiated by the 

following extract from the minutes of the Commission dated February 6th, 1891— 

Moved by Mr. 
Justice O'Brien, seconded by Professor Dougherty:— 

"• That a Draft Scheme be.prepared 
on the basis of a neutral or mixed Governing Body to manage the Endowments, and of tbe benefits ofthe Endowments being available for all denominations without any religious test." 
Amendment moved by Lord Justice FitzGibbon seconded by Dr. 

" That due rpgard to the spirit of the Founder's intentions, requires the constitution of the Govern¬ ing Body to be exclusively Protestant." 
The amendment was negatived, and the original resolution was adopted by the majority of the Com¬ mission:-Lord Justice FitzGibbon and Dr. 
TraUl voting for the amendment and against the resolution. 
Molloy, while assenting to the resolution that a Draft Schme should prepared on tho basis proposed by Mr. 
Justice O'Brien, stated that he did uot think this the most satisfactory basis of a Scheme, but that it was less open to objection than the alternative pro¬ posal. 
The general theory seems to be ; if the Endowment be exclusively Protestant in its nature, open it and produce a Scheme based upon a system of mixed edu¬ cation, but if it be already upon the latter basis, destroy that as soon as possible, and divide it out in proportion to population. 
This Scheme if passed will not be considered final, it will only supply a lever for enforcing a claim in the future (which has indeed been already intimated in advance) that the funds shall be divided and the bulk of them handed over for purely Roman Catholic purposes, with the inevitable result that the benefactions of a well-known proselytiser shall be used to propagate the doctrines and practices of a Church of which he had a holy horror, and for the overturning of which he thought, in his vain imagination, he bad supplied the best possible machinery. 
It is a remarkable fact, which should not be lost sight of, that all the Protestant denominations, who appeared before this Commission and asked that the Endowment should be opened, claimed that it should be on a purely Protestant basis. 
Shaw, q.c., 
who represented the Presbyterians, Dr. 
Webb, q.c., 
who represented the Methodists, and Rev. 
Whitmee, who represented the Congregationalists or Indepen¬ dents, were most explicit as to their instructions on this point, so that the Presbyterian Commissioner, in joining the other two Commissioners in this endeavour to destroy the Protestant character of this Endowment, in no respect represents the opinion of his own Church or of the other Protestant denominations in Ireland. 
These facts, coupled with the additional fact that four separate documents have now been issued with the Scheme, explantory of the views of individual Commissioners, entitle me to repeat my assertion, that the Scheme, as published, on this matter is devoid of all moral weight. 

Anthony Traill. 
May Uth, 1892.